Have you ever had trouble sleeping because of bothersome sounds? Cars on the street outside your window, someone else in the room snoring, the constant noise of a CPAP machine, even ringing in your years due to tinnitus—these and more may affect sleep onset. You can try to use earplugs, of course; but many people prefer to combat sound with sound, in the form of white noise or calming music.
The latter can even help with mood and sleep disorders, such as anxiety and insomnia. However, listening to music unobtrusively to help with sleep comes with a whole set of issues. Headphones are the logical choice, but most models are often too bulky or too flimsy, and just not really designed to be used in bed.
Enter: DubsLabs. Headquartered in Oregon, the 2011-founded company has—from the very beginning—made headphones, called Bedphones, specifically for sleeping.
What’s so special about Bedphones? To answer that, we’ll need to look at what it’s made of and what its specific details are. Materials-wise, there is not much that’s truly noteworthy: PVC for both the 59-inch long cable and the rubber-coated and flexible memory wire ear hooks, rubberized coating on the speakers that are then covered with foam, and gold-plated aluminum for the 3.5mm plug that’s compatible with standard headphone jacks.
DubsLabs claims that Bedphones are the world’s smallest on-ear headphones, and we’re inclined to agree. The entire product is lightweight at 3/4 of an ounce—that’s less than 0.05 pounds—and each speaker is less than 1/4 of an inch thick, making some of the thinnest we’ve seen.
The company further states that the patented design has the on-ear phones lying so flat that they will “practically disappear” between you and your pillow. There’s also an inline microphone with an accompanying button, which allows you to take calls from your smartphone hands-free. The latter also functions as a remote that lets you pause, play and skip tracks that are on your playlist.
What’s in the Box?
Bedphones come with several accessories that make it both travel ready and truly compatible with sleeping. A compact and sturdy case for carrying and storage protects the product while it’s not in use. You can also keep the included satin eye mask in the case, along with the two pairs of replacement speaker foams.
While this is not technically included in the box—and really, you can use this even without the DubsLabs product—there’s also a free Bedphones mobile app that’s available for both iOS and Android.
This helps you manage the music you listen to during bedtime and beyond, with a timer mode and even a smart mode that stops music once your smartphone senses that you’re asleep. Worth mentioning here that this mode only works, obviously, with phones that actually have an accelorometer to detect movement—or lack thereof.
How’s the Sound Quality?
For a small pair of headphones at this price point, the sound is pretty good. It’s not the best, but for sleep onset, the amount of detail doesn’t have to be studio quality. Also: It’s important to note that unlike some headphones marketed for sleep, Bedphones are not meant to be noise-cancelling.
Here’s some additional information for the audiophiles out there: Bedphones have an impedance of 32 Ω ±15% and a frequency range of 20Hz-20kHz. What do these numbers mean? Simply put, low impedance headphones require much less power for higher audio levels; so it’s best for battery-powered and portable gear like smartphones and small music players.
Bedphones have an impedance that’s just a hair above what’s generally considered low—less than 25 Ω—which means that while they may demand a little bit more power, they’re also less likely to be damaged from overloading; and can be used with a wider range of compatible devices.
Frequency range, on the other hand, is simply the amount of frequencies you are able to hear out of the product. Like most standard headphones, Bedphones allow you to hear the entirety of the generally accepted spectrum of audible sounds: from treble highs to bass lows.
If your Bedphones fit perfectly—more on that later—you’ll be able to enjoy music, white noise, binaural beats and whatever else you feel like listening to without any trouble; and even though they’re on-ear headphones, the sound isn’t likely to leak out enough to disturb anyone else who may be sleeping near you.
PREFERENCES & OTHER POINTS TO CONSIDER
Bedphones come in two colors: black and a vibrant blue. For fussy sleepers, there is also a wireless version—with 13 hours of battery life and Bluetooth compatibility—that is sold at a higher price point, but is only available in black.
A further enhanced version of this is Versafit, which is basically just a sweat-proof Bedphones Wireless marketed for those with an active and sporty lifestyle. The thin speaker design that works for sleepers also fits snugly under many sports helmets; and because the product isn’t noise-cancelling, they are safe for use during workouts where you need to still be aware of what’s going on around you.
Versafit was launched early in 2017, and comes in grey and green.
How Easy Are They to Use?
There is an initial adjustment that you need to make once you get your Bedphones.
Basically, you need to mold the memory wire ear hooks to fit your ears contours properly and hopefully in such a way that it causes no discomfort and allows for the best sound quality. To do this, for both left and right earphones you are instructed to position the speaker against your ear and directly over the ear canal; and then bend the memory wire up and over the back of your ear.
Finding a fit that works perfectly takes time, so you shouldn’t be afraid to adjust the memory wire and the angle of the speakers against your ears. A slider on the cable is provided to tighten the Bedphones, at the front or back of your neck, and keep it secure and in place throughout sleep.
Once you’ve found the fit that works for you, Bedphones should be a breeze to use.
How Does It Feel to Wear Them All Night?
DubsLabs would probably like everyone to believe that their versatile and adjustable design is good enough to be able to accommodate anyone, but the truth is that human anatomy isn’t homogenous enough for that. If it fits like a glove, you probably will forget that you’re even wearing them; based on the positive reviews of the product.
However, if your ears are not the correct shape or size, it can be difficult to find a sleeping position comfortable enough to maintain while wearing Bedphones. The bulk of negative customer reviews cite this—and flimsiness, which we will discuss in a bit—as a major disappointment.
In terms of comfort as it relates to sleep onset, great fitting Bedphones will probably be a godsend for people wanting to take calls and listen to music without possibly affecting their sleep-wake cycle. Smartphones are a source of artificial light, and the temptation to use them—for browsing social media, playing games, etc.—is only strengthened by actually holding them; so the inline microphone and the button remote will help a lot.
PROMISE & POTENTIAL
DubsLabs founder Eric Dubs wasn’t playing around when he decided to develop and manufacture sleep headphones. First of all, there is a measure of comfort to be had with DubsLabs specializing in headphones—and more specifically, headphones for sleep. This is not some big name, faceless corporation or all-around manufacturer getting into a niche market.
Dubs actually went through almost one hundred handmade prototypes before the first version of Bedphones was launched, and the company didn’t stop improving upon the product after that, either. In fact, what’s available now is actually called Bedphones Gen. 3.
This current incarnation of Bedphones took more than a year of research and development to make, and it was built specifically to address customer feedback. Compared to the original Bedphones, Gen.3 has speakers that are 15% thinner, ear hooks that are more ergonomic, and cables that are thicker and more durable. The microphone and button remote are also new additions.
The point we’re making here is that DubsLabs seems to want to grow along with its customer base; and is consistent when it comes to making improvements and additions to make their products better. That’s a great unsaid company promise, and it makes for great potential—although how all that translates in reality is a different story.
What do we mean by that? Well, we looked at customer reviews, and this product elicits a very interesting average response from its users—in that there is no real average. People either love it or hate it, which could be the result of the fit; which we’ve already discussed.
There is another issue that keeps on coming up: The left side of the Bedphones is apparently prone to not working properly or straight up failing, though people that reported this also often mentioned that they just availed of the warranty—more on that later—and got the entire thing replaced.
The flimsiness overall also seems to be a real issue to people who move around a lot while they’re sleeping. There are many reviews that mention parts breaking due to the product being pulled, tangled or accidentally damaged while the wearer is sleeping.
Is There a Trial Period with a Return Policy?
There’s a great deal of anecdotal evidence regarding Bedphones having problems with their durability and fit, but also a lot of satisfied and happy customers that gush about how the product has helped so much with their sleep quality. What’s a smart, but sleep-troubled consumer to do? Check for a trial period and a return policy, of course.
The problem is, while many sources online confirm that Bedphones come with both, this information is not listed on the DubsLabs official website—so if you are looking for a truly risk-free purchase, proceed with caution. We are currently trying to verify the existence of the trial period and return policy, though; so hang tight! We’ll update this review as soon as we receive a response.
How Good Is the Warranty?
The official website maintains that Bedphones come with a one year manufacturer’s warranty; but an easily readable online version of this warranty is nowhere to be found on the site. Customer support for warranty requests—or any other issue, to be honest—is also not that great. There’s no live chat, which is fine; but there’s also no FAQ section!
To contact DubsLabs, you are given two similar choices: a contact form on the site and an email address. While this may just be a site update error, or a small oversight, we’re checking with them, anyway. Again, we’ll update the review to reflect their response to this issue.
Bedphones Gen.3 are $39.95, with free US shipping and just an additional $5 for worldwide shipping. If you’re in the US: Once you place an order, expect it to arrive within two to five days. Bedphones Wireless is significantly more expensive at $99.95, but the design does potentially Bedphones much more comfortable and less prone to breaking.
Bedphones certainly look attractive, and their adjustable nature combined with the mobile app appeals to us here at Good Night’s Rest. That the product is lightweight and includes a microphone is also ideal, although we are worried about the build quality; especially since we have not, as of yet, confirmed the existence of a trial period or a return policy.
Yes, there is a one year warranty; but this really is only useful for replacements and not outright returns and refunds. What if someone buys Bedphones and finds that the product doesn’t sit well on their ears?
The bottom line here is that while there are many things about Bedphones that we love—and frankly, we would probably use it every day—we just cannot recommend it if it does not come with a trial period and return policy. Even a short one is fine; like a two-week money-back guarantee, for example. But to buy this online without ever having tried it on feels like an irresponsible purchase otherwise.